On Monday 22 March, the Munster Technological University (MTU), Cork, Rural Entrepreneurship event on supports and policy implications places online from 9.30am to 11am.

The free virtual event is organised by Dr Niall O’Leary of the Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence at MTU, Cork.

Munster Technological University

Running as part of MTU’s entrepreneurship and innovation month, this educational event will focus on the opportunities, challenges and supports available to rural entrepreneurs in Ireland.

The webinar will look at the supports available in Ireland and in Portugal, with speaker Dr Carla Mascarenhas from University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, discussing a novel entrepreneurial support programme available in the northern rural regions of Portugal.

Dr Diarmuid McSweeney of moregrass.ie will bring to life his experience as an agri entrepreneur in Ireland and abroad.

Founder of Inspect 4 Maeve O’Keefe will openly review her experiences alongside running several enterprises on their east Cork farm.

Support services

The guest speakers will address how and when they accessed support services, the pros and cons of their entrepreneurial exposures to date and how they might be improved for future rural industrialists.

A Q&A discussion will conclude the session, where practical questions on improving entrepreneurial policy in Ireland can be posed to the panel.

The stand-out feature of this webinar will be its dissection of pending problems surrounding rural entrepreneurship.

Dr O’Leary explains: “We are asking a question that others have not answered - what is the bottleneck that is preventing more entrepreneurial activity occurring in rural areas? This the key issue I want to discuss at this event.”

Dr O’Leary warmly welcomes all aspiring entrepreneurs to sign up for the webinar, with registration open up until Monday morning 22 March.

“The event is primarily aimed at MTU and Teagasc Darrara students. However, it is open to the public and we would like to see anybody with an interest in rural enterprise attending.

“Attendees will learn from our speakers, who have led by example. And anyone interested in accessing the available supports for new enterprises would get a lot of value from this event,” he finishes.

To register for the Rural Entrepreneurship event on Monday 22 March, click here.

Rural Femmes

Dr O’Leary, alongside his colleague Dr Aisling Conway Lenihan, recently led the Rural Femmes analysis project.

Rural Femmes project logo

After a well-rounded period of research and assessment, the report has been released, highlighting a concerning training and development gap, which exists between Macra na Feirme and the ICA, specifically for rural women aged from 35 to 60 not currently in business.

Dedicated to excellence in entrepreneurship through research, education and training, the Hincks Centre and Rural Femmes project leaders are currently preparing a set of courses, which will include agri, digitalisation and entrepreneurial related content.

Dr O’Leary looks forward to revealing more details on the training programme over the coming summer months, which he says will cater for entrepreneurial rural women of the 35 to 60 age group.

To keep up to date on the upcoming training programme, follow the Hincks Centre on Twitter.

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